FitzGerald Appoints Development Director

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Media contact:
Nicole Dailey Jones, (216) 263-4602;
John Kohlstrand, (216) 698-2099; 

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald today named Larry Benders as the Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Development.  

Benders will join the newly reorganized Cuyahoga County government in April.  He currently serves as the Executive Director of the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board and its agency, the Employment Connection. Funded federally by the Workforce Investment Act.

Benders manages the public workforce system and oversees the delivery of employment-related services to the business community and job seekers.  He has a staff of 120 government employees, contractors and partners and a budget that has ranged from $15 - $30 million.  Benders successfully transformed the workforce development system into an engine for economic growth.  Benders has three decades of general management experience, largely in the private sector.  He has held senior positions with Johnson & Johnson, Nabisco, Coors Brewing Company, Ben & Jerry's, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

“Larry brings a unique record of accomplishment and experience to the Department of Development,” said FitzGerald.  “At Employment Connection he developed and implemented a completely new business-focused service delivery model.  With a laser-like focus he has managed to double his agency’s output while reducing its expenses by half.  Employment Connection has become a national model for excellence in the delivery of workforce and economic development services by the government.  Moreover, the skills he has developed in the private sector will help Cuyahoga County to be a driving force in job creation and foster economic growth in our community." 

Benders earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in Business from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Benders' annual salary will be $160,000.